NASHVILLE, TN: Bridgestone/Firestone, seeking to repair its
battered public image, has launched TireSafety.com, a new Web site.
The site displays the Firestone name and contains information about
proper tire maintenance. Visitors can register for e-mail alerts telling
them when to check tire pressure. A free tire gauge is being offered to
people who register.
Firestone's internal marketing personnel created TireSafety.com. Outside
PR agency Ketchum, taken on during the height of Firestone's tire recall
problems last year, was not involved, said Woody McMillin, manager of
motor sports and consumer products PR at Firestone.
The tire company hopes the site will show the public that 'we are
caring,' McMillin said. 'Bottom line: you have to have the highest
regard for customer safety. We and other tire manufacturers probably
have not done a good enough job of telling people how to maintain their
Firestone has pointed to improper tire inflation as one of the possible
causes for accidents involving its tires and Ford Explorer SUVs that
have resulted in at least 119 deaths and numerous lawsuits against the
tire maker and Ford.
'We've had some rocks thrown at us,' said McMillin. 'I don't think that
we've done a good enough job in talking about tire safety.'
The company will promote the new site on its corporate site, with Web
advertising, point-of-purchase displays at its Firestone stores and
through inserts in its Firestone credit card mailings.